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Upset over party MLAs slipping through their fingers, the Sasikala camp is apparently in touch with the Congress for support to form the government should any 'emergency' arise.
The Congress high command on Thursday summoned Tamil Nadu Congress chief S Thirunavukkarasar and legislature party leader K Ramasamy to New Delhi on Friday for consultations. In the backdrop of allegations that the Centre is meddling in the state's affairs, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi too is expected to meet party MLAs from Tamil Nadu.
While the ruling AIADMK has 135 MLAs in the 234-member assembly, it's losing members to O Panneerselvam's group. While meeting governor C Vidyasagar Rao on Thursday night, Sasikala staked claim to form the government citing the backing of 129 MLAs.But her rivals contested the claim and said it could be around 100 MLAs.
While Panneerselvam said he's confident of proving majority in the House if he gets the governor's nod, he has, as of now, only five MLAs with him. He has alleged party MLAs have been "held hostage" in Golden Bay resort on the East Coast Road, and they are on hunger strike.
Congress sources said the Sasikala camp was trying to reach the high command.The party, an ally of DMK, has eight MLAs. A senior Congress of ficial said, "Congress MLAs are keen that the high command takes a popular stand. It should not be a suicidal attempt, akin to 1996."
In 1996, then Congress chief P V Narasimha Rao's decision to go against the popular opinion of a Congress-DMK alliance, and tie up with Jayalalithaa, had cost the party dear. The legislature party which met at Sathyamurthy Bhavan on Thursday morning took an anti-Sasikala stand, sources said.
Former Union minister P Chidambaram said on Twitter that "It is the right of the people to ask if Sasikala deserves to be CM."
TNCC chief said it was an "internal affair" of AIADMK, as the MLAs had decided on her leadership. He flayed the Centre for resorting to "dilatory tactics".
"The governor has to act independently. I strongly suspect Centre is interfering in the state government and AIADMK with an ulterior motive he told TOI. The TNCC chief, however, refused to comment if he had been approached by the AIADMK.

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